Unbeaten Ipswich on cusp of history as they reach play-off final

The all-conquering Ipswich squad are one game away from a perfect, unbetean, treble-winning season.

The all-conquering Ipswich squad are one game away from a perfect, unbetean, treble-winning season. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

NBL Division Two play-off semi-final Ipswich 76 Sevenoaks Suns 60 The unbeaten Ipswich Women advanced to the NBL Division Two play-off final with a comprehensive 76-60 win against a very talented Sevenoaks Suns squad.

Ashleigh Pink led Ipswich with 26 points against Sevenoaks. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Ashleigh Pink led Ipswich with 26 points against Sevenoaks. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

Ipswich led from start to finish, exploding out of the blocks, building a 24-6 lead after the first period. Sevenoaks had no answer for Ipswich’s Great Britain guard, Ashleigh Pink, who controlled the tempo of the game and was scoring inside and out.

However, the second quarter saw Sevenoaks get over the initial onslaught from Ipswich and find their feet. Ipswich maintained control of the game, but their dominance was significantly slowed, as they took a 40-21 lead into the half-time break.

The third quarter was the game’s most entertaining period, with both teams finding baskets easy to come by.

Ipswich would again win the period, but with both teams hot from the three point line, Sevenoaks were able to find some confidence going into the game’s final act. Ipswich led 68-41 after three quarters.

Harriet Welham scored 20 points for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Harriet Welham scored 20 points for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant


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The fourth quarter saw Sevenoaks enjoy their best period, holding Ipswich to just eight points, while recording 19 of their own. The visitors played some excellent basketball while Ipswich seemingly took their foot off the gas. However, despite their late run, the Suns couldn’t make a significant enough dent into the Ipswich lead to make the game close.

Ipswich were led for the third game in a row by Pink with 26 points, while Harriet Welham added 20 and Esther Little recorded 10 points and a massive 20 rebounds.

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Ipswich head coach Nick Drane said: “I thought we did an excellent job today. It’s been a disjointed few weeks, and this was the first time we’ve been back to full strength in over a month.

“We knew that Sevenoaks were going to be a very good team, and they proved to be exactly that – but we executed our game plan well.”

Esther Little scored 10 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Esther Little scored 10 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for Ipswich. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

Ipswich will now play in their second showcase event of the season when they face Derbyshire Gems in the play-off final, at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester on Saturday, April 28, (2.15pm).

The squad are on the cusp of history – one game away from winning the treble and going unbeaten all season, something which no Division Two team has ever done.

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